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Sentinel Events Initiative


Scientific research is key to developing evidence of how sentinel event reviews might be used to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

In 2014, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) made two research awards:

In 2015, NIJ made two research awards:

  • Researchers from Michigan State University—working with researchers from Indiana University and the director of the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission—are delving deeper into the ongoing gun homicide and non-fatal shooting review processes in Milwaukee, Detroit, and Indianapolis, establishing multiagency teams to study issues such as privacy, resources needed, and the role of the facilitator. Learn more about this project from an article in the NIJ Journal or see details on this 2015 award.
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice—in collaboration with the Philadelphia Police Department, District Attorney's Office, Defender Association, and Court of Common Pleas—are evaluating the effectiveness of multidisciplinary review teams. This project includes the creation of a database of errors and near misses to help prioritize negative outcomes for sentinel event review. Learn more about this project from an article in the NIJ Journal or see details on this award.

In 2016, NIJ made one research award:

  • In a multisite evaluation across three police departments, researchers at the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation (PIRE) are testing and learning from the application of Sentinel Events Review methodology. This project is being conducted to learn how sentinel event reviews can be sustained by local law enforcement organizations when working in a multistakeholder environment. Upon completion, PIRE will produce guidebooks on sentinel event reviews for law enforcement and the criminal justice system, as well as a practitioner tool kit.
Date Created: December 10, 2019